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The Maori Merchant of Venice (2002)

A modern day take on the classic bard tale - with Silver as a movie producer.


Don Selwyn


Pei Te Hurinui Jones (translation), William Shakespeare (play)
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Waihoroi Shortland Waihoroi Shortland ... Hairoka (Shylock)
Ngarimu Daniels Ngarimu Daniels ... Pohia (Portia)
Te Rangihau Gilbert Te Rangihau Gilbert ... Patanio (Bassanio)
Scott Morrison Scott Morrison ... Anatonio (Antonio)
Veeshayne Armstrong Veeshayne Armstrong ... Nerita (Nerissa)
Sonny Kirikiri Sonny Kirikiri ... Karatiano (Gratiano)
Te Kauhoe Wano Te Kauhoe Wano ... Hararino (Salerio)
Wharehoka Wano Wharehoka Wano ... Haranio (Solanio)
Te Arepa Kahi Te Arepa Kahi ... Roreneto (Lorenzo)
Ngatai Rangihau Ngatai Rangihau ... Renato (Leonardo)
Lawrence Makoare ... Pirihina o Morako (Prince of Morocco)
Samson Pehi Samson Pehi ... Pirihina o Arakona (Prince of Arragon)
Mana Epiha Mana Epiha ... Ranaharoto (Launcelot Gobbo)
Eru Potaka Dewes Eru Potaka Dewes ... Kopo Kaumatua
Reikura Morgan Reikura Morgan ... Tiehika


The Maori take on Shakespeare's 'pound of flesh' drama is a story of deep seated social and religious prejudice, that has its revenge in a money lending deal that is bonded in a pound of the Christian merchant's flesh on forfeit. The Jew (Shylock) has a long memory of oppression, but revenge is not so sweet. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Revenge is not so sweet






New Zealand



Release Date:

17 February 2002 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

Te tangata whai rawa o Weniti See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

He Taonga Films See more »
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Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is the first feature film shot in the Maori language. See more »

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User Reviews

Save and use this landmark film to enrich our world.
31 May 2018 | by allendcarlosSee all my reviews

I saw this film but once on SBS in Australia (it must have been when it was first released). I have never forgotten the experience, my search to procure a copy of it has thus far proven fruitless. I have left enquiries at my favourite dvd stores for years and keep asking them still. There is even a Maori store in Werribee (Victoria) that I contacted, but even they were unable to locate a copy of The Maori Merchant of Venice. I am not Maori, nor do I speak that wonderfully evocative language, yet I found this movie marvelous. The native sets and traditional Maori carvings did much to lend weight and exotic atmosphere to Shakespeare's play, and even if it's true I can't understand Maori, it is equally true that archaic English is just as foreign to me, but the facial expressions of the actors was anything but wooden (for me) and helped me grasp what was happening, and the mood, there were moments these talented actors elicited a genuine belly-laugh from me. I love this film ! Please, somebody, save this Maori take on Shakespeare from vanishing, I understand it is the first Maori feature film, regardless of whether that is true or not, this work of art deserves to be saved and enjoyed. If ever somehow you are privileged to view this movie then you will understand my gushing comments about it. At the very least I believe "The Maori Merchant Of Venice" needs to be saved/archived for the native peoples of New Zealand, for their posterity as well as for their fun and entertainment. This film enriches our world by putting a Maori slant/perspective on it, that would be an inestimable loss to us all were it to be lost/forgotten.

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